If your are not able to see SOLIDWORKS thumbnail pictures in Windows Explorer or in the Preview Pane of the Open dialog, there are several reasons that could cause this problem to happen. Listed below are the common solutions.
Solution #1: SOLIDWORKS Thumbnail in General Options
The first thing to check is an option within SOLIDWORKS itself. Tools > Options > System Options tab > General > ‘Show thumbnail graphics in Windows Explorer‘. Ensure this option is enabled. Also files must be subsequently opened and saved in SOLIDWORKS to generate the screenshot for the thumbnail.
Solution #2: Windows Folder Options
The next thing to check is your Windows Folder Options. There are two options required, one DESELECTED and the other SELECTED
- Windows Control Panel > Folder Options
- Select the ‘View‘ tab at the top of the window
- DESELECT ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails‘
- SELECT ‘Show preview handlers in preview pane‘ (scroll down to find it)
Solution #3: Windows Performance Options
SOLIDWORKS Thumbnail may also be disabled if you have customized your performance levels of Windows.
- Windows Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools
NOTE: If the top radio buttons are set to “Adjust for best performance”, this will disable all previews and thumbnails
- ‘Adjust visual effects‘ from the margin on the left of the window
- ‘Visual Effects‘ tab at the top of the window
- SELECT ‘Show thumbnails instead of icons‘
Solution #4: DLL Registration
During the installation of SOLIDWORKS, many .DLL files are installed and require registration to function properly. If you had installed without full LOCAL Windows Administration permissions, this can prevent proper registration of the DLLs. Manually registering the following DLLs can correct the issue.
- swdocumentmgr.dll (by default under C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared)
- sldwinshellextu.dll (by default under C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared)
- sldthumbnailprovider.dll (by default under C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS)
To manually register these DLLs:
- Log into Windows as a full LOCAL Administrator Account
- Browse in Windows Explorer to verify the location of the above .DLL files
- Run the Command Prompt as Administrator (Start > All Programs > Accessories > right-click ‘Command Prompt‘ and “Run as administrator“)
- Enter the following text (including quotations) and press Enter after each (*note these are the default installation location folders and may need to be modified)
- regsvr32 “C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared\swdocumentmgr.dll”
- regsvr32 “C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared\sldwinshellextu.dll”
- regsvr32 “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\sldthumbnailprovider.dll”
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